How I Got Approved for an Apartment With Bad Credit – Business Insider

December 19, 2021 by No Comments

  • When I was looking for an apartment, my credit score was 675 and I had 29 late payments on my credit report.
  • I almost gave up on trying to find my own apartment, but I used these five strategies to get approved.
  • I started organizing all of my documents in 10-minute daily increments so that I wouldn’t get overwhelmed.
  • Read more stories from Personal Finance Insider.

Ever since I moved out of my parents’ house, I’ve lived with roommates, asked my parents to cosign my lease, or relied on sublet agreements to find affordable housing in big cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

With my 30th birthday and a major surgery coming up, I decided it was time for me to have my own one-bedroom apartment.

Even though my 675 credit score was fair, I had 29 late payments on my credit report. On top of that, I had mixed full-time and side-hustle income that confused most landlords.

I originally thought that too many obstacles were stacked against me, but I pushed forward with these four strategies that helped me get my own one-bedroom apartment.

1. I started organizing my financial documents a month in advance

I knew that landlords would have a hard time seeing me as a reliable tenant, so I did everything I could to get organized. 

I spent 10 minutes a day scanning documents and putting them in a Google folder to make it easier to give landlords the documents they wanted to see. 

Here’s a list of documents that I compiled and scanned:

  • My legal name change and gender marker change documents
  • My certificate of naturalization and other immigration documents
  • Rent and utility payment history
  • Tax documents, like W-2s and 1099s
  • Paystubs from my full-time job
  • Invoices and payment verifications from my side hustles

As a non-binary/trans person and an immigrant, I’ve experienced discrimination from landlords who accused me of identity theft. Aside from my payment history, I planned ahead and compiled legal name change and immigration documents to make the process as smooth as possible.

Giving myself 10 minutes a day to organize these documents neutralized my emotions and helped me push through an invasive and overwhelming rental application process.

2. I showed my rent payment history, including Venmo transactions

In New York, I paid rent digitally, which made it easy to compile a PDF of receipts to show my future landlord my rent payment history.

When I moved to Los Angeles, things …….



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